Tuesday, 29 April 2014


Baby Moss arrived last night at 10:28pm est.  He is 8lbs 3oz and 20 inches. Heisman wearing his Mama Moss Diapers I designed for him.  Test 1 - they fit √  Test 2 - hold pee √ (of course its tiny newborn pee, but for now its what I got (other then my personal test lol.  

Friday, 18 April 2014

Baby Quilt & Moss Bag

I am finished! Well I'm waiting for daddy moss to put away the laundry I washed and folded :/ but otherwise I am finished chores and baby sewing.  I feel I can incorporate so much into making both a quilt and a moss bag.  Being 1/2 Lakota and 1/2 Cajun I can bring both sides together.   my Cajun ancestors would have been busy sewing quillts for their babies and quilting is a skill my Lakota ancestors became well known for after colonization with our star quilts.  And the moss bag (in various forms) was used throughout the America's by all our Indigenous Nations.   

The Quilt:
When I started contemplating the baby's quilt I didn't know if I was having a boy or a girl. But I designed two quilts, one a Cree floral design (my partner is Cree), and one a Lakota inspired thunder horse design (turns out I'm having a boy). I say inspired as it has a bit of a modern look. The night sky and clouds are more suggested in the geometric background. Where the horses are very organic, coloured and designed in a simplified version of your typical thunder yourself but the shape is more natural and less stylized then the traditional shapes. The quilt is larger then a typically baby quilt cuz I like then to be big enough to cuddle up in with baby. The colours are very "American", but lets remember lots of Nations like and use red, white and blue, and my people do also. Plus using those colours with shared cultural designs (stars, stripes, dots, horses), helped our people convince the Indian agents back in the day that we really were celebrating Independance day ... in our own way....it just resembled a powwow (wink, wink). The blanket binding I made out if a complementary quilting cotton. I prefer doing this so that it matches or accents my quilts (will do a short tutorial on how to make your own blanket binding / bias tape).

(thunder horses, similar to a Thunderbird and yet very different, like a lesser thunder being to make it simple) A wooded Thunder Horse (marketed for eBay but I couldn't find a more traditional image to show yous)
The Moss Bag:
Traditionally our people used moss bags to diaper our babies. Some went inside the cradleboard, while others (like this one) have straps on the bag so no board is needed but it functions the same. These items diapered, swaddled and kept babies safe, with a clear view of the world and a warm snug place to sleep. There is much to the teachings of their use but that is not for the internet. The bags were decorated amf filled with absorbent moss, which was changed when used. I've made the moss bag with the same materials as the quilt. The design is also the same although the horses (like those on the blanket) are a little different. Picture of Plains Cree Women with moss bags circa 1914.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

In The Last Days Of Pregnancy

I will be 40 weeks on Sunday.  I have been focusing on being ready for baby.  My mama moss diapers are all sewn and ready for sale but my own baby's sewing was not done. 

I was getting anxious to have baby as im tired of pregnancy lol.   However like my diapering preferences my birthing preferences are also natural so im waiting for nature to decide It's time for labour.   And term is 37-42 weeks so really it could be tommorow or in two weeks, but any day. 

I rested a few days.  Spent a few days walking.  Then I decided I needed to finish all the last minute stuff that wasn't finished. It was quite the list:
• laundry
• household chores
•minor organizing
• few baby items to be purchased
•postpartum mom items
•labour and post birth food
•easter stuff for kids this weekend
•my baby's moss bag needed straps and trim

All of this is now complete. However my baby's quilt is not finished. I've done some in between all the chores etc. Now its just the quilt. I have this feeling labour won't happen till the quilt is done. No fear there, I'm a fast seamstress. Fabric is my canvas and it just comes out. I should be done Saturday at the latest. I have a pic of where I'm at. (got a bit more done since this pic, not much). I am almost done the applique on the horses and lighting. Next I will be highlighting the grey strips with silver. Then I need to pin the layers and quilt them. The final step will be the blanket binding which I will be making from a cotton I picked to complement the horse fabrics. I will post the quilt when done. So if you dont see many posts I. the next few days; well im sewing and hopefully birthing and thhere will be the occasionally update. Soon we will be using these diapers I've designed for the little guy and it will all be shared here :)

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Why Some Cloth Diaper Companies Recommend Bleach

Nope, I am not recommending bleach but I will explain why some companies do.  Some of these same companies say don't use vinegar or baking soda.  There is no good reason for this.  I will explain all three things in this post. 

Also this post isn't putting down these companies or their products. They provide a good CD option. but like all diapers they have their pros amf their cons. Understanding the cons allows you to better care for these diapers so you can enjoy all the pros they offer. Also I would say these are quality companies. The instructions they give are to simply make sure the products they make will work for you and they have conveyed that advice in as simple and basic a format as possible by creating their own basic care instructions.

Why some companies recommend bleach:  What is known as the modern cloth diaper are diapers with synthetic materials such as microfiber, suede cloth,  minky, binky (bamboo minky), fleece etc.  The construction and shape of the fiber is different then natural fibers.  In fact when microfiber was designed (by the cleaning industry)  it was designed this way on purpose to pick up and trap dirt, bacteria etc.  At the end of this post are some pics from a microfiber industry site - check it out. Since its designed to trap these things, they are harder to wash out.  The result is that these fabrics are more prone to ammonia (which some people refer to as stink), which makes your diapers smell bad and will cause a rash on babies bum, in bad cases it will cause ammonia burn.  If your using a "modern diaper" which also has thick layers then your increasing the difficulty in washing the diaper because there are more layers to wash through.   This is also why its important to remove inserts from pocket diapers.  Washing inserts that have been seperated from the diaper allows you to wash through less layers resulting in a cleaner diaper.  The solution is that some of these companies will suggest a monthly bleaching, to combat the problem.   Am I saying people shouldn't use thick "modern" diapers?  No.  These diapers have qualities Moms like.   And if for you their pros outweigh the cons then use them.  Just be mindful of the drawbacks.  Change the diaper even though the fabric leaves it feeling dry.  Remove all poop before placing in your diaper pail or wet bag (should be done with all diapers).  Rinse out overnight diapers (should be done with all overnight diapers). Wash often (again as with all diapers).  And make sure you have a very thorough wash and rinse routine.  It will need to be more intense then with flats, prefolds and basic fitted's made of natural materials.  Keep a sharp eye on the diaper for signs of ammonia or build up.  Extra detergent or water will not clean better. An extra washing, boosters (some if which are hard on fabrics), vinegar presoak or rinse should help.  In the end you might need to follow the company advice of monthly bleachings.  If this is the case absolutely do a vinegar rinse at the end of multiple post bleach rinses.  And do not expect all these diapers to last forever.   In the end the bleach and washings will cause wear, it just happens.  If the only way to keep ammonia at bay is a monthly bleaching then that's because they could not be completely rid of ammonia.  I would suggested not reselling or donating a diaper with this issue because it's just not right to be passing an ammonia problem on. In addition I recommend looking a cloth diaper blogs.  Find one by an experienced CD mom.  Experienced as in over a year, at least, multiple children is even better and doesn't have repeated ammonia or leak issues (which build up creates).  And lastly one that uses the same or a similar diaper.  A mom using the same or similar diaper and successfully keeps the diaper free of its potential issues will be a good resource.   I can only advise so far.  I understand fabric and sewing very well.  I've always been good at science and research.  And I've been cloth diapering longer then most but my hands on experience is keeping basic fitted's and prefolds made of cotton clean. 

* If you are using a diaper made of natural fabrics but 8+ layers thick, you also will need a more thorough wash and rinse routine in order to wash through all the layers.   This means you might need to follow much of the same advice. 

Why white vinegar is safe:
White vinegar is also called distilled.   Technically speaking,  its not.  What it is, is 5% to 8% acetic acid (that's vinegar) in water.  With a pH of 2.2-3.  This makes it too weak to breakdown fabric fibers.  It will however breakdown detergent and uric acid.  So what's their problem with it?  Well it is possible that striping with vinegar might not be strong enough on synthetic fabrics to strip them.  So what you could do instead is use white vinegar in a presoak before washing or add to the rinse cycle after washing.    Do that with each wash to help hard to clean synthetics. 

Why baking soda is safe: Baking soda (and washing soda) have been used in laundry and cleaning for over 100 years.  They are safe and they are gentle.  They do not have the ability to harm fabric (they are not strong enough to do so).   They also clean nicely.  Washing soda cleans better then baking soda however.  And if all you have is baking soda you can bake it and it will turn into washing soda.   So why do some companies say not to use them?  Same issue as vinegar, these are safe gentle cleaning products which may not be strong enough to clean synthetic materials in a diaper. 

The pics below come from a microfiber industry site. The top diagram shows why and how they do their job of picking up and trapping dirt and bacteria. The second picture is a photo of a cross section of the fiber under a microscope. It is also why they work as stay dry fabrics instead if absorbing fabrics. The fiber design does not allow the fiber to swell up with retained water.


White Vinegar is a great thing for a cloth mama to have (I included it on my list of needs for my baby shower). White vinegar is a very mild acid.  To mild to harm fabrics.  It balances pH levels, removes residues by breaking them down in detergents, softens and fluffs fabrics and disinfects (so good for cleaning out diaper pail and regular household cleaning too).  Our mothers and grandmother's know this.  Laundry experts know this. 

Someone recently said my vinegar advice was bad for synthetic materials in diapers including PUL.  This makes no common sense but I dug around and found out I was right.  I also dropped the issue with the person since common sense dictates that sometimes that's the wisest choice.  Also I used PUL for years and vinegar never had a negative effect. 

So if your diapers need a boost in brightness, softness or disinfecting then give white vinegar a try.  Usually 1/2 a cup.  If you have hard water, vinegar might not be as great as it might cause an odd smell.   

If your struggling to rinse all detergent from your diapers add.vinegar to your rinse cycle. 

If there is strong urine in your diapers then presoak in vinegar prior to washing (also rinse out overnight diapers and encourage older babies to drink water between nursing) .

There is a great blog post on vinegar (here).  I suggest it for further reading.  Questions in the comments are also answered. 

Monday, 7 April 2014

ON SALE: diapers, wraps and more for sale!

Today I posted all my current items for sale on the Mama Moss Facebook Page .  Please check the page and the posts titled "FOR SALE" to view items.  you can order by commenting on an item or by email at mamamossdiapers@gmail.com.  PayPal arrangements can be set up privately for payments.  Also feel free.to ask questions through the comments or email.  I will also soon be setting up a giveaway and finding people to test and review my diapers.  Below are some pics but many more on Facebook.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Wonderous Wool Covers

I've been sewing woolies and really enjoying it (I'll get to all I made in a min).  If you've read some of my other posts you will know I love wool, never been able to financialy afford wool and was a little nervous about it.

But life insisted I not give up on wooly diireams.  So then I had a chance for my products to go into a local baby market.  I jumped at the chance and got some wool for wool diaper covers.   I also made a tutorial on wool care.  Best thing about sewing wool for others though is the left overs are for me to srw for my own baby and see what I like best first lol. 

I Made Longies: And are they not so cute? Be making some for ourselves (I mean our baby lol). I finished the cuff so it can be turned up or down to adjust leg size. And I put button hole elastic in the back of the waist. I think Id like to get some snaps and make the sides open up. I'll work on that soon. I used the Katrina's pattern of the internet for free. Skirties: So adorable right? But I'm having a boy so these are just for sale. they have a button hole waist and Id like to try the side snaps on these also. the soaker pattern for the soaker (that the skirt is attached to), is also Katrina's pattern. (I will make these links when I can). And of course I made wool wraps. And they have a double gusset leg, cuz double gusset legs just rock at leak protection. Why I like a wrap over a soaker is if there is a poopy diaper I prefer to open rather then pull. (its why I want to create some longies ad skirties with side snaps.

Friday, 4 April 2014


This post will primarily have links to other posts about caring for and using your cloth diapers.   Although this post is for all cloth moms, I am designing it as an on-line care manual of sorts for people using my cloth diapers. 

Remember to prep your prefolds before use.  Also remember to lanolize wool before use.  Details in links below.

1.  IS YOUR BRAND NEW DIAPER LEAKING?  When you purchase / receive your prefold diapers they need to be prepped before use for maximum absorbency. This post discusses why and how.
2. HOW TO FOLD A PREFOLD: *This was created in the early development phase and shows a night wrap(instead of the wool wrap) that didn't make it past the prototype phase, how to do the folds is the same though and the tutorials do use my prefold hybrid. I'll update it soon though.
Part 1, trifold
Part 2, angel fold & poop catcher
Part 3, jelly roll
Part 4, open leg fold
These 4 tutorials walk you through some basic prefold diaper techniques on my own Mama Moss Prefold Hybrid.  Try them out a few times and discover this simple talent. 
3. LAUNDRY,  LAUNDRY,  LAUNDRY: This laundry posts covers some cloth laundry basics all cloth parents need to know, a better outlook on doing laundry, and some alternatives such as home made laundry detergent and boiling laundry by hand. 
4.  DIAPER PAILS AND WET BAGS: All about how to store those used cloth diapers for laundry day, tips included. 
5.  POOP GOES IN THE TOILET:  What to do with poopy diapers, you might be surprised to know the instructions for disposables is the same
6.  WHY DIAPERS SHOULD BE CHANGED OFTEN:  This post covers how often diapers should be changed and why It's important even when a diaper "feels" dry. 
7.  DIAPER RASH AND CLOTH DIAPERS:  We as cloth mama's might not see rash very often but it does happen.  Read about why, how and what to do. 
8. WASHING WOOL.  this post will instruct you on how to wash and care for your wool covers.  Its easy and takes very little work.  You will need some Lanolin and wool wash (not woolite)


Well now that I finally have hadl success in buying and sewing wool covers I guess it would be wise to discuss wool care so these wool wrap style covers work.  Really its pretty simple, and I got to spend the day with a friend learning so I can share here, and use on my own wool covers.  Im very excited cuz (as I've mentioned) I really wanted wool. 

Ok here's how simple:

Washing And Lanolizing:
One of the cool things about wool is that the lanolin neutralizes urine and so they dont need to be washed all the time, just dried out and the lanolin cleans them up in the process.   That's a good thing for sheep cuz I imagine being as fluffy as sheep are they get their own urine on themselves. 

So when it is time to wash the covers fill a wash container with lukewarm water.  Add wool wash it baby shampoo.  Push wool into water until submerged.  let soak 20 minutes. Gently spot rub soiled areas. Rinse and set aside. 

Put a pea sized amount of lanolin in a container with a squirt of wash and very hot water.  Close lid.  Shake until it's emulsified.  *lanolish for nipples is most often advised and so it's what I bought.*

Put 1 1/4 inch hot water into your wash container.  Add lonolin mixture.  Add coomld water until water is a lukewarm temperature.  Add cleaned wool and soak 15 min on each side.  When done take out wrap and poor water through it.  Squeeze out water (don't wring it).  You can roll wool up in a towel and squeeze out water / moisture.   Add pressure to towel (you can walk on it).  Lay flat to dry. 

Wednesday, 2 April 2014


So I finally got the wool for mye diaper wraps (yay). And made my first wrap and cut the others. However I couldn't find a pattern or instructions for a double gusset (just singles). So I figured it out myself and am sharing for others.  The wool I got is 100% wool, 10% of which is cashmere (Oh so so soft).   The wrap is one layer plus a second in the wet zone. I used braided elastic in the back, and the gussests.?  I used Velcro to fasten (you can change to snaps if you like).  I edged some in bias and some in grograin ribbon. 

Here is a pic of the first one (the tutorial is me making #2)

Here is a diagram of the pattern (so you can clearly see measurements (the main piece is half a diaper and needs to be cut on the fold ) The pattern will fit on a piece of fabric that is 19 5/8 inch by 17 4/8 inch. fold over part way so main piece fits on folded over material along with the gusset. place pieces as shown. The dots on the pattern show where the points where elastic is sewn too. using these dots, mark your fabric. You will need to cut the following pieces of elastic: • 1 back waist 7 3/8 inch • 2 gusset A 5 2/8 inch • 2 gusset B 5 inch. place core in wet zone and sew near edge. Set your sewing machine for longest stitch and sew on elastic to back waist and gusset A (each leg). Stretch elastic out evenly as you sew. Sew right near edge. With right sides together zigzag stitch curved edge of gusset B to gusset A (stretching gusset A to fit). Gusset B will extend about 1/2 inch beyond gusset A. Turn over and run straight stitch along outside of elastic. repeat on other side. Zigzag stitch elastic to straight edge of gusset B, stretching evenly. Add the trim such as Bias tape (beginning seamstresses should use this) all around the outside edge.
Cut an 11cm and a 4cm piece of Velcro. Attach (straight stitch) the 11cm piece if loop to the outside front center. Then attach the 4cm piece of loop to the outside back corner. Cut the 11cm piece of hook in half and sew to both inside back corners. Discard the 4cm piece if hook. And your done :)